Archive for the ‘Fiction’ Category

Prize Draw Winners: Nick Cave, Chop Sizzle Wow and Keri Smith

Monday, December 1st, 2014

Win tickets to and the official movie poster of the Nick Cave movie 20000 Days on Earth! winners: Jasmina Suljanovic + Petra van Geenen

Q: Besides music, Nick Cave also writes books. Which other musicians write books, and are they any good?

“They are Leonard Cohen, Steve Earle (just got as a present I’ll Never Get Out of This World Alive, started reading it and so far so good), Willy Vlautin although I’ve not yet read anything by him.”


Win a copy of Chop Sizzle Wow: The Silver Spoon Comic Book! winner: Ewita Djoechro

Q: Which comic book superhero would you treat to a home-cooked meal, and why?

“I would love to cook a home-made meal for Obelix from the comic book series Asterix. Obelix loves his food – (as is apparent from his girth ;-) and I would really like his opinion on some of my recipes!”

“I would treat the Arrow (Oliver Queen) to a home-cooked meal because he has spent five years on an island trying to survive, with very few food options. It would be nice to give him a proper home-cooked meal to remind him of what he has missed over the past years.”


Win a signed copy of Keri Smith’s The Imaginary World Of…! winner: Charlotte van Beek

Q: Send us a picture of your Wrecked Journal or of another much-loved Keri Smith book already in your possession!

“A few years ago a friend of mine came across Keri Smith’s blog and we both decided to complete her 100 ideas. It was so much fun. We now have three of her books, the latest is Wreck This Journal, which I have had in my posession for a while. I am inspired to start reading/having fun with it.”

Win a signed copy of The Miniaturist!

Tuesday, November 25th, 2014

The Miniaturist is a fictionalised biography of actual 17th century people, and the author has done a remarkable job of recreating the atmosphere of the Dutch Golden Age, its febrile money-making, closed social and political circles and prudish mores. What begins as a gentle and intriguing mystery turns into a real high-paced thriller, both superbly handled. You can almost smell the streets.
I found this book so engrossing that while reading it on the train I missed my station – twice!”

So says ABC’s You Reviewer David Young about The Miniaturist by Jessie Burton.  That’s not all – Historical Fiction buyer PeterL recommends it as one of his section’s Gift Ideas, too.  A book you have to read, in other words…

Thanks to our friends at Pan MacMillan, we have a SIGNED copy to give away! You can win this copy by simply answering this question:

What book are you reading right now?

Mail your answer to by December 3rd*. Please include “The Miniaturist” in the subject header.

*Please note that we don’t answer the mails to individually. The winner will be contacted after the cut-off date. The names of the winners and ALL answers are posted on this blog periodically in Prize Draw Winners posts.

Prize Draw Winners: KLIK! Animation Festival + Bespoke Redesigned Classics

Monday, October 27th, 2014

Win Day Passes for KLIK! Animation Festival winners: Michael Middelkoop, Samir Rawas Sarayji and Roxanne Pastou

Q: What animation book/illustration book should always be in stock at ABC and why?

To Infinity and Beyond!: The Story of Pixar Animation Studios.  Pixar is the alpha and the omega of not only modern animation, but more importantly, timeless storytelling. And that should be at the heart of any hand drawn/computer animated/clay figured piece.”

Coraline by Neil Gaiman because, simply put, it’s creepily awesome!”

“The obvious answer would be The Animator’s Survival Kit by the legendary Richard Williams. Indeed it’s not called the animators’ bible for nothing. But, to mix it up a little bit, I would suggest The Illusion of Life by Frank Thomas and Ollie Johnston, firstly because it describes animation in the most poetic way, using only 4 words, in the title (“The illusion of life”, how great is that?!) and secondly because page after page it takes you to a magical place, whether you are an animator or an illustrator or not.”

Win a bespoke redesigned classic winner: Merel Hoekzema

Q: Which classic in your bookcase would you let Simone give the bespoke redesigned treatment to, and why?

“The classic in my bookcase I would let Simone give the bespoke redesigned treatment to is The Great Gatsby, because I think the story serves as great inspiration for either a flamboyant and glamorous look, or something beautifully simple.”

“I would let Simone bookbind The Great Gatsby. The book is full of glamour and takes place in the rich and roaring twenties, but my copy of it does not give off that image at all. In fact, it is starting to fall apart. I feel like it deserves a bit more glitz.”

“I’d really like it if Simone would give Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë the bespoke redesigned treatment, because it’s my all-time favorite, it’s such a beautiful novel!  It so beautifully written and you really feel Jane Eyre with all she goes trough. The story never bores me, I can read it over and over again.”

“The book I’d love to have covered so beautifully is called King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table, by Roger Lancelyn Green. I won this at school as a prize for spelling (100%!) and it introduced me to the Arthurian legend for the first time, with which I have ever since been fascinated, even despite Monty Python and the Holy Grail. You can imagine how a young boy (I was then 8 I think) was captivated by and could identify with the knights and their heroic deeds.”

Ebook available for The Great Gatsby, Jane Eyre and King Arthur and His Knights of the Round Table.

Gift Ideas for Historians

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014

Ready or not, the gift-giving season is upon us! Whether you celebrate Sinterklaas, Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah or any other opportunity to give presents during the dark days of the winter solstice, we’ve got ideas aplenty. As in previous years, the ABC Staff has looked through their sections and hand-picked various choice literary jewels for your gift-giving pleasure.

We will present these titles in a series of blog posts and recommendation lists throughout the coming month. We hope you will find some inspiration in them, but please remember that these titles only represent a tiny fraction of the books on offer in our stores. Be sure to stop by to see what else there is in the area of your interest!

In this post we highlight books for the historian in your neighborhood from our Mythology and Early and World History sections, as well as from the Military History and Military Fiction sections.

You can find our gift ideas from previous years here (scroll down a bit to 2013 and beyond), and be sure to have a look at our ABC Favorites, too.


Ebook available for The Norse Myths (Penguin edition), Mythology and Bulfinch’s Mythology.


You Review: Rooms by Lauren Oliver

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Reviewed by Marianne van der Wel

Richard Walker has died. His ex-wife Caroline and their children, Minna and Trenton, have just arrived at his country house for their inheritance. But they are not the only ones in the house.

Long-dead former residents Alice and Sandra are there as well, watching while the Walkers try to sort through the detritus of Richard’s past.

All of them are haunted by secrets of their own, secrets that are trying to get free, because everything surfaces in the end.

Rooms by Lauren Oliver is set up like a house tour. You slowly go through it. In each new room memories resurface and the characters move towards the inevitable revelations of their secrets. All the characters reveal a bit of their stories at a time. At the start it feels a bit fractured, but once everyone has had their first say, you can start to see the bigger picture.

In the beginning of the story I did not like any of the characters. They all seemed petty and self-absorbed. But as it unfolded, my dislike of them became less. You get to know them and they become more human. Unfortunately, this made the beginning of the book a bit dull, and even irritating at times. I’m glad I kept reading, though. It’s a tragic story, with its own sort of happy ending. It’s the best the characters could have hoped for.

In the end I really liked this book. There isn’t much in the way of character development, but that is not what it’s about. You have to give the character a chance to tell their story. And this story is told in a very natural way. You can feel the slow build of nothing to suspenseful, and finally the satisfaction of knowing that everyone is where they should be. This is a very special kind of ghost story.

You Review: The latest releases, reviewed by ABC customers.

There is no ebook of Rooms available yet, but there are ebooks of Lauren Oliver’s previous work: Before I Fall, Delirium (but not the rest of that series, sadly), Panic, Liesl & Po and Spindlers.